The Nationals added another outfielder to the mix for a roster spot this spring, today signing former Reds outfielder Laynce Nix to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training. Nix, who turned 30 in October, gives them another left-handed bat who can platoon in left field and provide some pop off the bench.
He hit 15 homers in 116 games for the Reds in 2009, posting his best year in the majors, and posted a .291/.350/.455 season for Cincinnati in 97 games last year. He won't hit lefties well (he has a .139 career average against them), but like Rick Ankiel, he can match up well against right-handed pitchers in spots. The Nationals' lineup is heavy on righties, so if there's a cheap opportunity to find some left-handed power, they're going to take it more often than not.
Nix's chances to make the roster out of spring training might be slim, considering the Nationals signed Ankiel to a major-league deal and have Jerry Hairston Jr., as well. But he could also give them some inventory in the minors to start the year.